Archie Shepp – Life at the Donauedchingen Music Festival 12” LP

Archie Shepp-Life_ed

It’s another muscular gut-puncher from Shepp. That irresistible sound of truth, blackness & indignance just charging the fuck through & invigorating everything it scorches. Fulgurating indomitable exhilaration just burning like a volcanic eruption, it’s like a damn purification process, the man just blitzes like a maniac, channelling the soul through the sax like a magician. So many glorious saxophonists, all with their own angle, energies & idiolect, but what is it about Shepp? That strength & style just charging down like some kind of sacred battle-weapon of virtue. I can listen to this shit all day & never get tired. I suppose it’s really just another magnificent Shepp burner from his supreme rough & tumble, free fire & brimstone period (The Magic Of Ju-Ju, Mamma Too Tight, Three For A Quarter One For A Dime & this LP being the fiercest/sacred four). There is classic Jazz, softer stints & some wonderful contributions from the excellent cast (Grachan Moncur & Roswell Rudd on trombone, Jimmy Garrison on bass & illa’ Beaver Harris on drums), but despite that shit being total dynamite & receiving my utmost reverence & appreciation, it’s all about Shepp just tearing it up from th flo-up & rinsing hard like some kind of sonic rebel messia… thrilling? Y’ll burst y’ goddamn sweat-banks! Completely essential!!!!

Rekd: 1967

Label: Impulse (re-release by Scorpio Music/Universal “Special Markets”)